Anne Zelenka, the “Red Nun” of Redmonk provides a 6-item list of myths about Ajax. Mostly I think she’s right on the mark, especially the note about Ajax making sites more usable. But I think she’s a little off track in this bit:
Myth 3: Ajax is just window dressing – it’s only about superficial cool and special effects.
Reality: An Ajax web app, properly architected and built, can be more scalable and better-performing than a traditional cgi-architected server-heavy web application (e.g. one built with ASP.NET or Java Server Pages).
Rather, I think she’s on the money when she refutes the idea that Ajax is just about flashy effects. However she misses part of the story when she bit draws a firm distinction between Ajax and a “server-heavy web application…built with ASP.NET…”. Obviously I’m quoting a little out of context, but the important thing as far as I’m concerned is that Ajax is a component of a web application, but it could work perfectly well alongside server-side ASP.NET components to the benefit of both technologies. To draw an artificial line between Ajax code and server-side code is to unfairly limit them both.